Community Forest Assessment and Livelihood Support
"Now we see animals coming back to our forest"
Project: Community Forest Assessment and Livelihood Support
Supported by: NC-IUCN
After a long drive over dirty roads and long after the last poda poda stop (public transport) we reach the villages Gangama, Taetima and Mesima in the Nongoba Bullom Chiefdom, Bonthe district.
Some 230 kilometers away from the capital Freetown and located around a forest, the eighty households lived mainly of hunting and of the wood of their forest. A forest and biodiversity assessment of the community forest undertaken by Green Scenery showed diversity was seriously under threat.
While the organization conducted its intervention it observed that the three communities are living in abject poverty with no access to safe drinking water (a cause for serious water borne diseases), no access to school, poor sanitary condition, and lack of medical facilities. In effect the conditions under which the population exist, not only upholds poverty, but reinforces poverty.
At the beginning of the project villagers did not trust the idea of alternative livelihood and community development nor did they believe that someone could be interested to work with them. Now they witness the desired change: Animals and plants are coming back to their forest and trees are recovering. The community committee is working. The families who are currently benefiting from the cassava, rice and groundnuts plantations are donating money for initiatives undertaken by the three communities: A store, a clean place to dry their harvest, a school and a machine to grind cassava is now available and villagers are keen to see more. One hundred bags of gari have been prepared and are waiting to be sold. The estimated income expected stands at USD 1000 for this product!
Green Scenery built capacity in natural resource management, composting, community development and peacebuilding. Currently the organization is looking for funding for sanitation and water wells and is developing a marketing strategy for selling the villagers product: Organic Gari!
Please support the communities efforts. Donate for water wells and sanitation
Read Report on Participatory Rural Livelihood Assessment